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Fresh Local Flavors - 5 Places to Taste the True Northwest

​What makes something taste great? Like, truly delicious and memorable?

Put simply, it’s in the soil, the water. Snohomish County is uniquely situated geographically to provide great agriculture.

The region is full of watersheds and river valleys tucked between the Salish Sea and the Cascade Mountains. It’s pretty remarkable – the water evaporates, rains in the mountains, forms glaciers that in turn melt into the rivers and lowlands, which flow out through estuaries back into the sea.

Here are some of the places where you can taste truly local foods.

1.     Garden Treasures – Arlington

Off of HWY 530 is a barn filled with everything you might expect from a roadside farm stand. It also has a lot that goes above and beyond what you'd expect -- like, dried local beans, eggs, raw guernsey milk, courtesy of Silvana Dairy Farms. 

What I like best about Garden Treasures (besides the tomatoes bursting with vital flavors) is that they sell plant starts and fruit trees. They help you to grow your own organic produce -- and that's about as fresh as it gets. 

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2.     Sno-Isle Food Co-op – Everett

In the heart of Downtown Everett is an extraordinary historical building. It's a natural foods co-op. The produce here comes from the local river valleys, as well as the eggs and dairy. The bread and wine are local, too. It's your kinda place if you're into kombucha, hummus, matcha, coconut milk, or bulk dried dates. You can grind your own peanut butter or coffee.

Cool story about this building: it was used as a Boeing subassembly plant during World War II, women riveters and everything. 

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3.     Central Market – Mill Creek

For folks traveling in South Snohomish County, try Central Market. It has tanks full of live crabs and lobsters, a large selection of local craft beverages, and a bulk section that's sure to please your lentil-lovin' soul. 

Especially noteworthy here is the selection of Asian foods -- several aisles and a refrigerated section filled with kimchi, mochi, sushi. dried shiitakes, and canned green tea beverages.

4.     Farmers Markets – various locations

I'm glad that Farmers Markets are open during the time of C-19. It's good that folks can still get farm-fresh produce and that local farmers can stay in business. 

There are over a dozen local markets in Snohomish County, so be sure to check times, locations, and rules right here before you go. 

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5.     Kazuma’s Fish Market/Ono Poke – Edmonds/Lynnwood

Like a lot of people who live by the Salish Sea, I'm a seafood enthusiast. When I'm reslly looking for a treat I head to south Lynnwood and Edmonds. 

The first stop is Ono Poke, which is owned by a Hawaiian family that sources the freshest tuna and salmon in the world. Seriously. Ask them about it sometime.Their spicy tuna poke bowl is fantastic -- especially when accompanied by a side of authentic macaroni salad.

Kazuma's Fish Market is the place to get fresh fish to go. Not just fish -- pretty much anything that's classified as seafood can be found here from local oysters to crabs to mussels.

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Also: foraging

The shrewd visitor will love the river valleys and mountains of Seattle Northcountry for the foraging opportunities there. Mycologists tend to flock to the Mountain Loop. Berry enthusiasts can find plenty of U-pick options in any river valley, or they can bring a bucket and find a nice, private patch near a river for some great blackberry picking. Campsites and trails are filled with mountain huckleberries, snowberries, and blueberries.

I personally am a fan of plucking rose hips from the shores of Everett for tea and a killer rose hip jam. 

It's hard to believe sometimes that fruit this good just grows here. 

Of course, you'll want to only pick what you can identify. 

Have fun out there!

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Managing Editor
Richard Porter
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